Jordan retracts limits on ‘single women’ tourists

An outcry from Jordanian tour operators has compelled Amman to backtrack on a controversial new regulation that was intended to limit the entry of single eastern European and North African women into the country. Tour operators throughout the country were notified earlier this week of a new visa regulation issued by Jordan’s Ministry of Interior. The directive stipulated that women traveling alone to Jordan from several eastern European and North African countries would be required to obtain special entry visas.

The ministry notice gave no reason for the new regulation. But tour operators said the conservative government was trying to clamp down on the growing trend of prostitution in Jordan imported by women from these countries.

Source: [The Media Line]

Phew! What were they thinking? I’m glad that if my Moroccan friend Soumia or my Tunisian pal Leilouta ever decided to visit Jordan — on their own — they won’t need a "special entry" visa.

It reminds me of my attempt to get a visa to Dubai from Doha, Qatar a few years ago. I went there with Jeff, but for some reason did not mention that I was married. I just simply requested a visa. The woman in charge of visas at the embassy gave me a hard time, asking me to do a tedious amount of paper work that really baffled me.

However, when I mentioned my husband and pointed to him, she told me: "You should have told me you are married to the American. You can pick up your visa tomorrow." I was later told that Arab single women (along with few other nationalities) applying for a visa to the Emirates usually face some "special" restrictions. The logical explanation I was give for this was the country’s quest to curb prostitution.

I guess somehow being married or maybe being married to "the American" made me much less likely to spread moral corruption. Dangerous, dangerous me!

6 Comments

  1. Arabi March 8, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Yeah I don’t think that they should curb on women from coming to Jordan, I think on the contrary let them come and let the country become more open.

    As far as Dubai, Jordanian women are given a hard time for visas not due to fear of prostitution but because of fear that they would wanna come and stay in the country, same for single Jordanian men.

    Arabi

    Reply
  2. Brian Ulrich March 8, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    I was surprised Jordanians needed an advance visa for the UAE, until Arabi’s comment reminded me of the employment issue.

    Reply
  3. Hareega March 8, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    If they wanna really crack down on prosititution they can ask five policemen to dress civilian and take a walk in al Gardens street one night

    Reply
  4. Mike March 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    So, these single women are showing up in Jordan? I went out the other night and wondered where they all went.

    But, of course, someone could make a big noise about all that in Jordan and then watch the tourism numbers jump.

    Single guys would suddenly show up there, telling friends they meant to find Petra — while they really had the likes of supermodel Petra Nemcova in their minds rather than the archaeological site.

    Hey, I went to college with a girl named Petra. I never have heard where she wound up.

    Reply
  5. Kagehi March 11, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    What I love about this is the idea that there are huge throngs of Eastern European and North African women who are just *waiting* to go to some country that not only classes prostitution as illegal, but might (if somewhat less so than the neighboring countries), get you beaten, shot, stoned, etc. You know, instead of going to some place where is a) legal or b) not going to get you killed…

    Sounds to me like the usual right wing BS you always get with conservative governments. Refuse to look at “why” something is happening or how internal corruptions may be helping to allow it (its often the people crying the loudest about it that are paying for someone to secretly meet them some place), but instead invent someone else who should be the cause, preferably some group or nationality that is more liberal, then try to make everyone believe that its “them” causing all of it. After all, if the moron (oops, citizen) in the next hotel room hears stuff, if they think, “Those damn foreigners!!”, its far less likely that they will notice that is the local Cheif of Police with 2-3 of the people he should be arresting in there instead…

    Seriously, this seems to be how some conservatives think. Its not a problem if “they” do it, as long as its discrete and the priest doesn’t find out, but how dare other people do it, and in a way thats blatently obvious and public enough it can’t be hidden!! That’s just wrong! Sigh…

    Not that I am accusing anyone. Just… This is absurdly common, and part of laws/traditions that place the blame solely on the woman is to help keep the guys safe to pull that kind of BS. And even in the much more liberal US, you are far more likely to find a conservative placing blame for what ever their son did on the “bad influences” around him, and his own stupidity.

    Reply
  6. jeff205 February 9, 2009 at 5:58 am

    This is pretty interesting. A Dubai organization combating intimate partner violence created these make up kits with a message. Specifically represents a different kind of abuse.
    The brush in the kit says: “Don’t cover up injustice. Speak.” Along with the City of Hope’s hotline number. The kits were given out at shopping malls in Dubai.
    I like it.
    ——————
    jeff

    http://adult.talkingdating.com

    Reply

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